Gansbaai Stories - Catch as catch can

Was sitting at the Duineveld restaurant on the Pearly Beach road one Sunday morning with a pal when we heard a vehicle being driven along the road at high speed. Sure enough, shortly afterwards three bakkies flashed past, doing about 150 km/h, I would guess. At back of eack bakkie sat three or four men dressed in black wetsuits.

After the bakkies had passed there was a moment or two of silence then another bakkie came along, a police van apparently trying to overtake the other three, but obviously not succeeding.

Locals tell me the Nissan V6 truck is the transport of choice of the poachers, being able to outrun anything the SAP can throw at them. One SAP pick-up  got quite close once along a dirt road and even managed to catch a few poachers, but only because the driver of the getaway truck had overturned it...

- - - - -

Driving along the Stanford road a while back in my own bakkie, I ran into a road block a few km out of Gansbaai. A few uniformed officers were stopping every vehicle as it  hove into view. I thought at first they were traffic officers, but as one approached me  I saw his "Sea Fisheries" badge.

Then something really interesting happened: an officer approached me, carrying a clip-board. He glanced at my number plate and whatever he saw there set him at ease. As I turned down my window he said: "You aren't carrying any kreef oor perlemoen, are you?" as if he knew the answer in advance.

Now I may not look like a kreef or perlemoen runner, but I had met some in Gansbaai who, for a mere R10 000, would ferry a load to Cape Town and they didn't look any less respectable than me.

“No, I said and he waved my on. Clearly my car's number plate was not on his list.

The SAP used tu mount road blocks, but their success rate was low, either because the poachers knew beforehand where the SAP men would be, or the poachers weren't on any official list of suspects to be held. Difficult to tell, though. 

If you would like to submit your own story and/or find out how to get involved in this project please visit our website for more information.